Published On: Mon, Oct 31st, 2016

New emerging Islands set to compete with Banana Island and VGC

New  Island neighbourhoods are emerging to compete with the exclusive neighbourhoods of Banana Island, Ikoyi and VGC.
  They are offering home seekers and investors viable alternatives to existing pricey and exclusive neighbourhoods such as Banana Island and Victoria Garden City (VGC).
 
These developments are aimed at servicing the city’s growing population, particularly the emerging middle class.  The $6 billion Eko Atlantic City leads the pack, along with Orange Island and Gracefield (Phoenix) Island.
 
Unarguably, Banana Island, a predominantly residential layout built on reclaimed land from the ocean, is today, the most expensive and exclusive neighbourhood in all of Nigeria and remains the most sought after address harbouring luxury homes and costly land that sells for N400, 000  (about $1,326) per square metre.
 
However, there are new   emerging urban communities offering comparable value, comfort and luxury to both VGC and Banana Island, given their relative affordability, stronger value proposition as mixed-use developments, and standard infrastructure.
 
 “I do agree that Banana Island and VGC are upscale neighbourhoods, but what is happening is that developers have realised that where you have a decent population, there would be craving for well laid out communities or estates. So, the developers of Orange Island, for instance, saw an opportunity to create a first class layout close to Lekki Phase 1”, said Rogba Orimolade, an estate surveyor and valuer.
 
Orange Island is a new residential destination rising off the coast of the Lagos Lagoon, just 800 metres away from Lekki Phase One and holds promise for exclusive, first grade living with standard infrastructure.
 
Unlike Banana Island, Orange Island will be a fully serviced community—a mixed-use development comprising residential, commercial and leisure facilities with a low-density population estimated at 9,000 residents.
 
“Orange Island is not just another island settlement; in some ways, it is meant to be like Banana Island but it is going to be far superior to Banana Island in terms of the quality of the infrastructure that will be provided”, Ebitu Ukiwe, CEO, Locus Promotion, explained to Metrobusinessnews in an interview.
 
The island offers strong value proposition as an alternative ‘urban escape’ from the increasingly busy and commercialised Lekki Phase 1. There are currently a limited number of private plots available for sale with all-inclusive prices starting from N110 million per plot.
Similarly, Gracefield Island offers viable alternative to the existing neighbourhoods as a luxury island development, likened only to Dubai’s Palmtree Island and offering opportunities to live in luxury houses, work in ultramodern office complexes, shop in the best shopping malls and play in the most exquisite tourism centres.
Gracefield is a mega residential and commercial community being promoted by Gravitas Investments Limited and Olufemi Babalola, Gravitas CEO, assures that  “Lagos is set to witness a fundamental positive shift in new city development and real estate construction, as the island is designed and being implemented to be eco-friendly and ensure sustainability in all aspects of its development.
The development promises a variety of house-types, ranging from condominium to terraced houses and single household units, constructed to world-class standard, and offered at reasonable prices. The commercial area will have an upscale shopping area that is suited to serve the development, just as the business park will offer purpose-built office environment to generate the vibrancy and orderliness necessary for wealth creation centres.
Tayo Odunsi, CEO, Northcourt Real Estate, notes that new urban communities such as Orange Island, Gracefield Island and Eko Atlantic are usually desirable to buyers, as they offer better planned and qualitative infrastructure in comparison to public main areas, amongst other reasons.
Odunsi however added that since these are private-sector led developments, they would sell at a premium, which can pose a significant challenge in a developing country like Nigeria and so, need to meet certain criteria to attract effective demand.
“I believe there are a couple factors that make new town developments successful. Firstly, the presence of an anchor occupier helps to attract other users to the estate. VGC had the Nicon Hotel, Chrisland School, the VGC Shopping complex and proximity to Ikota Shopping Mall as attractors to the scheme, while Banana Island had Ocean Parade, the Airtel office building among others. Anchor occupiers go a long way in enforcing the early stages of success of a new town in the minds of individual ‘would-be’ occupiers, who in turn follow with herd instinct”, he noted.